Queen Of Puddings | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
Pies, Tarts, Etc.,  Sweets

Queen Of Puddings

My classic Queen Of Puddings recipe is sweet, indulgent, and way more impressive than the effort you put in. In fact, it comes together in well under an hour. All hail the QOP.

Queen Of Puddings | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
Queen Of Puddings | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal

Hey, you’ve been quiet for a long time

Yes, this is true. You know, sometimes life takes us away from the things we love for a while. But the wonderful thing about life is that that those same things often stick around, waiting for us to get back to them when we are ready. I’m sure there is a deeper spiritual lesson in here somewhere but this is just a humble food blog, and I am a musician, not a philosopher.

So, back to food. 😀

Queen Of Puddings: A Classic Dessert With An Amazing Name

There’s no denying it, Queen of Puddings has the most amazing name of any dessert you may ever serve to anyone. I love serving dessert. I love serving impressive-looking desserts. I love serving desserts with killer names. But sometimes I just want something that I can throw together in under an hour and still set down on the table and pretend that I spent the afternoon slaving away at it.

If you are in the mood for a quick, easy, delicious dessert with a truly fantastic name that you can serve hot, warm, or cold than QOP is for you.

What is ‘pudding’ anyway?

Pudding is just an old-school British term for what Americans call dessert. If you’re a Brit you can probably skip this section all-together.

Truth be told, more and more Brits are using the term “dessert” nowadays. But a quick trans-Atlantic flight on British Airway will remind you that “pudding” is alive and well in the vernacular (it’s how BA lists “dessert” on their in-flight menu).

Now, if you are an American (like I am) and just can’t quite wrap your head around the question: “What’s for pudding?” I suggest you try “I made a pudding for dessert” on for size instead. It’s much easier to digest, and it won’t conjure up images of small boxes of powdered mix in your mind.

Queen of Puddings | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
Queen of Puddings | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal

All hail the Queen

If you’re wondering where this dessert came from, it’s the brain-child of home cooks of days gone by who were eager to put something sweet on the table to finish a meal, but didn’t have the modern-day conveniences of refrigerators or food storage bags to keep things fresh in. Food went bad, and quickly. And like so much comfort food of the past, this recipes comes from a need to use up old ingredients while making do with the fresh ingredients that were still available.

The base of the dessert is made by mixing milk, egg yolks, and stale breadcrumbs together to create a sort of custard base. You top that with jam (which as you know, keeps virtually forever once it’s in jars), and finish it off with a meringue which — a hundred and fifty years ago — was likely made possible by the brood of chickens everyone kept out back. Sugar, which was historically a luxury ingredient, is used sparingly in the custard, and only features prominently in the meringue where it is required to stabilize the egg whites.

Queen of Puddings | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
Queen of Puddings | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal

Ingredients needed for the Queen Of Puddings

You’ll only need 10 ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge and your pantry to make the Queen of all desserts. I used raspberry jam to make mine, but you could use any jam that you have on hand that you think would taste delicious. I think strawberry, blueberry, or apricot would all be wonderful flavors to try. And if you’re truly feeling inspired you might top your QOP with rhubarb or even cherry jam!

  • Unsalted Butter – I really like unsalted butter for a few reasons. First of all, it’s often fresher than butter that has been salted at the dairy farm. Also, there is no standard here in the States that dictates what “salted” means. The dairy could add a pinch, or a cup… you won’t know. And that means you won’t know how much extra salt you’re adding to your recipe. Now, if you only have salted butter on hand don’t panic. It’s highly unlikely there is actually that much salt in your salted butter, so just eliminate the pinch of salt in the recipe.
  • Whole milk & heavy cream – You’re basically going for a “light cream” here. But not that many people keep light cream on hand, so we’ll mix milk and cream together and make it work. And I’m not talking about “half-and-half” my American counterparts, I’m talking about actual light cream (some people call this “pouring cream”). If you do have light cream on hand, simply substitute it for the total volume of liquid dairy that my recipe calls for!
  • Eggs – You will want your eggs to be at room temperature for this recipe, but it’s easier to separate eggs when they’re cold. So I recommend separating your eggs first, and then letting the whites come to room temperature while you work on everything else.
  • Vanilla extract – The people who claim that pure vanilla extract is essential in every recipe have clearly not been affected by 2022’s world-wide inflation the way the rest of us have. I say: Break out that artificial vanilla. Your grandmother used it. You loved her cooking. It’s going to be just fine.
  • Bread crumbs – There are those that would argue you must leave your own bread out to get stale and then painstakingly grind it down to crumbs. Yes, that is ideal. But I’m here to tell you that the box of store-bought bread crumbs (unseasoned!!) you already have in your pantry is going to work just fine. It’s what I used. And like my Nana Maxwell always used to say: “Never make anything if Pillsbury can make it better.”
Queen of Puddings | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal
Queen of Puddings | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal

Storage: How to keep the Queen as fresh as possible

It’s always a wonder that female celebrities never seem to age. Your Queen Of Puddings will, however, move past its prime. If you’re going to serve it piping hot than I recommend finishing it just before serving. You can also serve your QOP warm, at room temperature, or even cold. While the internet is largely aghast at the use of plastic wrap, a small piece of plastic wrap over the top of the (cooled) dessert will keep it for up to two days in the fridge. You must, however, let your QOP cool completely before wrapping it up or it will release steam, create condensation, destroy your meringue, and make your soul sad.

Other recipes you might be interested in:

If you’re looking for more inspiration you might enjoy one of these popular recipes I’ve posted!

Tag me on Instagram @jamandbreadofficial (I love seeing when other people make something I’ve created) and please consider leaving me a review below if you make my Queen of Puddings. I sincerely hope that you love it and that my post helps you with a few talking points when you serve it to your friends and family!

For even more recipe ideas you can follow me on Pinterest!


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Queen Of Puddings | Jam & Bread | Matthew Smedal

Queen Of Puddings

  • Author: Matthew Smedal
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 large or 8 small servings 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Cuisine: British


My classic Queen Of Puddings recipe is sweet, indulgent, and way more impressive than the effort you put in. In fact, it comes together in well under an hour. All hail the QOP.


  • 1 cup whole milk (250 ml)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (250 ml)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (56 grams)
  • a pinch of salt
  • peel of 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided (225 grams, divided)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 2/3rd cup plain bread crumbs (80 grams)
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam (150 grams)


  1. Preheat your oven to 275°F (130°C + Fan)
  2. Separate your eggs.
  3. Combine the milk, cream, buttersalt and lemon peel in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  4. While the milk mixture is heating up, combine your 3 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla and whisk to combine.
  5. Once the milk starts to simmer vigorously remove your lemon peel (careful, it’s going to be hot) and little by little pour the hot milk into the eggs yolks, whisking like your life depends on it. I mean this: Little by little. Whisk away. Otherwise you’re going to make sweetened scrambled eggs, and have to start over, and you will be really annoyed at both the laws of science and yourself.
  6. Pour the custard into a small baking dish (oval, square… whatever you have — just make sure it’s about 8″ in length) and bake until the custard sets. This will take 25 minutes, give or take a few minutes on either side. If you have an instant-read thermometer you can temp the custard. It’s done when it reaches 180°F (82°C).
  7. While the custard is baking clean out your saucepan and then add your raspberry jam to it. Warm the jam on the stove until it becomes easily spreadable. When the custard is done, remove it from the oven and pour the warm jam over the warm custard. Spread it around with the back of a spoon until you have a thin layer of jam covering your custard. If you need more jam, simply use more jam.
  8. Using a stand mixer or a handheld mixer whip your egg whites with your remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla until the egg whites have become foamy. Little by little, add your remaining 1 cup of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
  9. Top your QOP with your meringue and, just before serving, either torch the meringue with a kitchen torch or place the dish under your broiler for a minute to toast the meringue.


  • The meringue will start to shrink as it cools on top of the hot custard and jam. This is inevitable. If you want to minimize this you must let your QOP cool completely before topping it with your meringue. Honestly, that is what I did for my photograph. But will you like it more when it’s warm? Yes, you will. 
  • I used a piping bag to make little meringue kisses on top of my QOP, but you don’t need to do this if you don’t want to. You can simply take a spatula and heap meringue onto the dessert as though you were making a lemon-meringue pie. It will be absolutely delicious, look fabulously impressive, and everyone will be in awe of you.

Keywords: British cuisine, British desserts, custard, jam, meringue, make-ahead, easy


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